Malawians have called for heads to roll at Malawi Police Service and for a proper inquiry to be conducted following Thursday’s stampede which left at least 8 dead and scores injured.
According to reports, the tragedy at Bingu National Stadium was caused by the police as they fired teargas at people who wanted to gain access into the stadium to be part of Malawi’s Independence Day celebrations.
Commenters on Malawi24 stories on the tragedy said that organizers could have done better in managing the event with many noting that the stadium management did not only delay in opening the gates but also erred by opening only two gates.
One commenter named Wilson Shamie said people arrived at the stadium as early as 5 AM but the police prevented them from entering into the stadium.
“Thousands gathered outside and at 9 AM they (police) opened the gate expecting thousands to enter peacefully at the opened gate, results are death of poor innocent people which is all due to poor planning and organising,” he said.
While James Amuje Chunda chipped in saying: “I thought the stadium is the biggest in Malawi and could be having a lot of entrances, why didn’t they just open all gates and let people flood in instead of teargasing them. This is police cruelty and brutality.”
Other readers said the police should be held responsible for the deaths since they ignited the chaos by firing teargas at the crowd which had lined up to enter the stadium.
“A police onse anali ku stadium ko (All police officers who were at the stadium) must be arrested for causing death of innocent kids and an adult. Pasakhaleso zokambirana,” said Omega Bema.
While Jostino Mnthambala said: It is high time our police is trained in crowd control skills apart from using teargas. Our police is obsessed with teargas as a means of controlling crowds.”
Following the tragedy, the planned celebrations went on and the last activity was a football match between Silver Strikers and Nyasa Big Bullets. But Malawians felt the celebrations should have been cancelled to mourn the dead.
“Cancel the event forthwith,” said Richard Clarence Longwe. “It’s not a celebration anymore but a national tragedy.”